Wagons West: Domestics picked up market share in California last year

Most days, California must seem like Kazakhstan for the Big Three. Domestic products aren't so popular out West, where Toyota and Honda have long stood atop the sales charts. But not in 2011.

According to a report in Automotive News, both General Motors and Ford managed to bump Honda from its silver medal position in 2011, though Toyota still holds a commanding market share lead. In a storyline we've heard before, the twin natural disasters in Asia curbed Japanese production, causing a 4.5 point loss of market share. Toyota's market share dropped from 22.8 to 19.2 percent, while GM and Ford tied at 12.6 percent – ahead of Honda at 12.1.

Booming sales in the Golden State helped the domestics to their 1.8 point gain. New vehicle registrations in California were up 9.9 percent, according to the report. The biggest sales gains last year were made by Kia and Jeep, which were up 53 and 49 percent, respectively.

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